On 26 February 2020, the Sindh Health Department confirmed Pakistan’s first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Shortly after, Special Minister to the Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza confirmed Pakistan’s first two cases of COVID-19, assuring citizens that the situation is under control and there is no need to panic.

Media Coordinator to the Health and Population Welfare Minister Meeran Yousuf sent journalists the following statement on WhatsApp: 

The statement translates to: 

“Karachi: First case of Corona virus revealed

Karachi: Corona virus victim identified as 22-year-old [Name Redacted], Sindh Health Department

Karachi: 22-year-old [Name Redacted] arrived in Karachi by bus from Iran

Karachi: [Name Redacted]’s family were also on the bus

Karachi: [Name Redacted] has been admitted to a private hospital, Sindh Health Department

Karachi: [Name Redacted]’s family is being inspected with [Name Redacted], Sindh Health Department”

Soch has redacted the name of the patient.

COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus which was first identified in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province, China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation (WHO), those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can lead to organ failure or death. Since it is a viral disease, antibiotics are ineffective. 

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves.

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